Purchasing Skills | The cost and time of Silk screen printing, the supplier will never told you!

By justchinait
October 29, 2020

Screen Printing Concept

Silk-screen printing refers to the use of silk mesh as a screen base, and through the photosensitive plate-making method, made with pictures and text silk-screen plate.

Screen printing consists of five elements, screen plate, squeegee, printing ink, printing table and substrate.

The basic principle is that the ink can be printed through the graphic part of the screen plate and the non-graphic part can not be printed. When printing, pour printing ink on one end of the screen plate, use a squeegee to apply a certain pressure to the ink part on the screen plate, and at the same time move to the other end of the screen plate at a uniform speed, the ink is squeezed from the mesh of the graphic part to the substrate by the squeegee while it is moving.

Silkscreen printing process

Make the document-film production-stretching-bush photosensitive glue-printing down-developing-printing

The screen plate includes screen frame and screen mesh, which is made according to the design document. Then, the screen plate is brushed with photosensitive glue. After drying, the screen is exposed by using photographic film. The black area of the film mainly acts as a shading effect, so that the photosensitive glue can not cure, and other area is cured by exposure photosensitive glue. After the exposure is completed, the uncured photosensitive glue can be washed off with water to get the desired graphics and text.

The detailed process of screen production: the selection of the screen frame-grind and smooth-check the screen frame-stretch the screen- Silk screen degreasing -screen sizing-exposure-screen scouring-retouching and storage

Stretch the screen



Screen sizing (brush sensitive glue)


Screen Development


Screen fixing apparatus






Advantage of silk screen printing

  1. Not limited by the size and shape of the substrate
  2. The general printing method can only be done on a flat surface. Screen printing can not only print on flat surfaces, but also print on special shapes such as spherical surfaces.
  3. The plate is soft with small impression. The silk screen is soft and elastic.
  4. Strong ink coverage. It can be printed on all black paper in pure white with strong stereoscopic effect.
  5. Suitable for all types of ink
  6. Strong anti-rotation performance. Make the gloss of printed matter not affected by temperature and sunlight. Processes such as laminating are omitted. (6) flexible printing methods
  7. Plate making is convenient, cheap and easy to master
  8. Strong adhesion
  9. Can be screen printed by hand or machine
  10. Suitable for long-term display, making outdoor advertisements expressive

The disadvantage of silk screen printing

1. Multiple colors

Silkscreen can only print one color at a time. For multi-color printing, it is necessary to carry out complex and tedious colour processes. The color process has relatively high technical requirements, and there are relatively few technical personnel in this area. If you need to print four or five colors at a time, it is prone to badly aligned, muddy illustrations. This increases the scrap rate of products, and the cost increases accordingly. Silkscreen is not suitable for patterns with more than four colors or with gradient colors.

2. Small batch

A set of silk screen printing process cannot be saved. If the order volume is small, then these costs are quite high. Therefore, screen printing factories generally do not accept small orders because the cost is too high. This is also one of the reasons why many suppliers have higher MOQ for custom orders.

3. Arc limit

Not suitable for products with uneven surfaces

4. Uncontrollable ink volume

Some products must maintain their original state while printing, especially textile products. After printing, many customers want to maintain the texture of textiles, which is difficult to achieve with silk screen printing.

There is a process that can cooperate to solve these problems of silk screen printing, that is, the flatbed printer. This process is a new type of digital process that can be printed for multiple colors at one time, and the printing cost for small batches of products is completely consistent. The printing material allows a certain arc (5-7MM). And the amount of ink is very small, printing on the fabric will not affect its texture at all. This process can be used with silk screen printing to complete some products that are more difficult to print, so that screen printing technology can be better and more complete.

Main applications:

Screen printing is used in a wide range of applications. Except for water and air (including other liquids and gases) , any one of the objects can be used as substrate. Someone once said of screen printing, if you want to find the ideal way of printing on earth, to achieve the purpose of printing, it is likely to be screen printing.

Specifically, screen printing is mainly used in the following areas:

  • Paper Printing, Fine Arts printing-advertising, pictorial, calendar, lantern paper, etc. .

Trademark printing

Transfer Printing

Packaging and printing

Building Materials Printing — Wallpaper, etc.

  • 2. Plastic printing, plastic film — Ethylene toys, school bags, plastic bags, etc. Plastic trays-false metal composites and various trays. Production Parts – Instrument Parts.
  • Wood Products Printing — lacquerware, wooden crafts, toys. sporting goods, wood, ceiling, signboards, fake metal plates, billboards and so on.
  • Metal Products Printing, metal cylinder, metal utensils, etc.
  • Glass, ceramic products printing– Mirror, glass plate, Cup, bottle, etc. Ceramics-utensils, handicrafts.
  • Printing and dyeing — Flags, cloth, towels, handkerchiefs, shirts, vests, knitwear, pockets, shoes, number cloth and various bags, backpacks, bags, etc. .
  • Leather Products Printing

Silkscreen charge standard and related time

The screen printing screen is based on the size of the logo to calculate the price.

1. Make the photographic film

Generally 20-30 yuan RMB. (this option may be waived if a film is available) , the film can be finished within one day.

2. Screen plate production

For 5 * 8CM logo, 30 * 40CM screen frame is required. According to Swiss screen mesh with a particle diameter of 44Micron, the price for the screen plate is 60-80 yuan RMB, screen time is 2-3 days.

3. Proofing

It can be divided into two situations: no need for toning and need for toning. Generally, it is between 60-80 yuan that does not need to be toned. If you need to color, an additional 50 yuan per color.

In summary, if you only make stencils, the price should be between 80-110 yuan. If proofing is included, the cost is around 160-180. Proofing time: 5-7 days

Size —- 0.2-0.5 yuan RMB per logo within 10CM length and 3CM width (one color and one position)

Smaller than A4 size: 1 yuan RMB/color (one color and one position)

A3 size: 2 yuan RMB/color (one color, one position)

Take 5K order quantity, one color and one position as an example: it takes 3 days to print LOGO. 2 days for printing, 1 day for ink to dry.

Common cases of silk screen printing

Clothes printing





Plastic products-mobile phone accessories



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